Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Litfuse Blog Tour Book Review: Queen of the Waves

Author: Janice Thompson
Publication Date: October 1, 2012
Publisher: Summerside Press
Series: American Tapestries

When pampered Jacqueline Abington secretly elopes with the family gardener, she asks another woman to take her place on the much anticipated maiden voyage of the Titanic. Tessa Yarborough hails from a poor corner of London but has been granted the opportunity of a lifetime--a ticket to sail to America aboard a famed vessel. But there's a catch: she must assume Jacqueline's identity. For the first time in her life, Tessa stays in luxurious quarters, dresses in elegant gowns, and dines with prestigious people. Then a wealthy American man takes an interest in her, and Tessa struggles to keep up the ruse as she begins falling for him. When tragedy strikes, the game is up, and two women's lives are forever changed.
 I have been a fan of the great Titanic ever since I can remember. I always wanted to watch the movie, over and over again, as soon as I was old enough of course! I was intrigued by its pure beauty and marveling elegance. I would sometimes imagine what it would be like to parade around in fancy gowns with feathers on my lace-brimmed hat. I think it would have been a lifestyle I could have gotten used to. As soon as I saw the tiny picture of the Titanic in the left corner on the top of the book I think I actually swooned! I can just imagine what the beautiful girl on the front cover sees as she is looking out over the railing….I wish I could see it too!

The entire concept of this story is beautiful and very pleasing to a reader such as myself. Tessa Bowen is a poor farm girl who is often times subject to her own father’s cruelties, while Jacqueline Abingdon lives is the lavish lap of luxury and is about to be forced to marry a man of which she knows she will never really love. They are both in need of a way out. So Jacquie, who is in love with Tessa’s brother Peter, devises a plan in order for them both to escape and find a freedom of their own!


This story reminded me so much of The Princess and The Pauper. Jacquie was willing to give her grand and wealthy lifestyle up just to be able to marry Peter Bowen, the groundskeeper for her family at the time. Peter wants to runaway with her but refuses to leave his little sister, Tessa, behind. You do have to admire Peter for that! Tessa lives at home with her mother and father and she does the majority of the work on the farm. I felt so bad for Tessa and wanted to seriously injure her cruel father for all the harsh things he required of her. He talked to her as if she were no better than a field mouse. All of these characters are so believable and their situations are all heartwarming and worth reading about.

I deeply admired Tessa for willing to go away to a country she had never been to before just so her brother and Jacquie could runaway and be happy together. Of course she too wanted to change her circumstances but she had to endure a lot of “princess” training before she was able to make the journey. I loved watching the two girls bond and some of my favorite scenes were when they were both together. Jacquie trained Tessa to parade around and act like the delicate and charming lady that she really was because she would be boarding first class after all on the ship. I loved Tessa’s modesty. She was such a humble character and I was so happy to see her board that fabulous ship.


Janice Thompson writes a vivid and uncanny depiction of this marvelous ship, Queen of the Ocean. I noticed myself reading slower and slower just to absorb all that was being said and told about life on board. If you have any appreciation whatsoever for this rather large historical event then I suggest you pick up this book. Janice told this story differently from other Titanic stories that I have read. I could picture everything just as if it were happening in front of me.


I noticed in some reviews that many people did not enjoy the changing point of views, but I think in this book it really worked for me. I loved being able to keep up with each character because Janice established a contract with me from the start of this novel. She made me care and love each of her character, even poor Iris, the lady’s maid. I was devoted to them all and I constantly wanted to know what each character was up to. I am more than happy to give it five warm and delicious cupcakes!


***A copy of this book was generously provided to me by Summerside Press in exchange for my honest review***


  1. Sounds like an interesting Titanic + princess and the pauper twist like you say! I might give this one a go someday. Thanks for the review.

  2. Hi Chelsey,

    I've tagged you The Next Big Thing! Your turn to answer the questions! http://youmaysayimadreamer-sh.blogspot.co.nz/2012/10/the-next-big-thing.html

    Sarah :)